Josh Tatum Band Shakes the House of Blues Foundation Room


Josh Tatum and his band of merry band mates had no problem packing the ornately decorated Foundation Room at House of Blues in Los Angeles last night. The entire show bordered on theatrical, or perhaps that was due to the two cameramen recording an almost constant stream of footage of the band. The Josh Tatum band takes a typical rock band format and plays a decidedly atypical style of rock that woos your ears and assuages any misgivings you might have about the genre of rock. The first song they played was a rock song, reminiscent of The Black Keys without sounding too similar. The second song ‘Time Again’ featured an incredibly beautiful harmony between lead singer/guitar player Josh Tatum and drummer Richard Millsap. By the end of ‘Time Again’, the crowd was really revved up by the band, insisting “You LOVE L.A.” when Josh announced that he was glad to be back on the West Coast.



The third song was my favorite, ‘Happy Town’ reminding me of a dystopian Neil Young ballad that would eventually be remixed and covered into oblivion. After ‘You’re Only as Good as You Look’ garnered some low whistles and cries of surprise from the crowd, Josh admitted bashfully “I wrote that song after a difficult day”. He won back the crowd, and the band played the raunchy number to the biggest applause of the evening and a shout of “I want to have your babies!” Josh didn’t miss a beat before replying quietly “Let’s talk after the show.”

It’s clear from the level of song writing and execution that Josh Tatum is more than just the handsome face of a rock band, and his band is much more than just his backing band. The group fit the standard rock band lineup by featuring one drummer, one bassist, one rhythm guitarist, and one lead guitarist/singer. But it was what they did with their roles individually and as a group that makes the Josh Tatum band stand out as unique. Josh filled the down time between songs with tons of tasty guitar licks, breaking up the dead air in between songs as well as providing a window into the inner noodlings of the frontman. The rest of the band didn’t exactly slouch through the tunes either:  rhythm guitar player Trevor Jones, bassist Slayde Martin, and drummer Richard Millsap performed every song as if it were their last, each of the three gentlemen carrying the rhythm with their bodies as much as they were their instruments. The bassist and drummer really dug into their lines, allowing the guitarists room to strum along or solo on top of their nonstop beat. Their grins and excited energy together on stage reached out into the crowd, and it was obvious that they were having just as good of a time on stage as we were watching them. We cheered them on to an encore, and the band was just as gracious and positive offstage (and off camera) as they were in the spotlight.

The Josh Tatum band has recently played at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, and they plan on more Los Angeles shows in the near future. For more information about Josh Tatum and his upcoming performances, visit his Myspace page.